MiCPicks: Andrew Lane’s ‘Three Things You Should Know About…’

The most wow-worthy executions in digital today, curated by media consultant, strategist and blogger, Andrew Lane.

Every week MiC invites Canada’s top media gurus for a show-and-tell session of the work they think best exemplifies smart new media thinking.

Curating three executions in the digital space today, we have media consultant, strategist and blogger Andrew Lane. His company, Nitch, helps businesses connect with targeted consumers in that very space, through content-based strategic marketing and partnerships. Andrew is also an industry evaluator for both the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund and the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).

With my business focused in the digital space, I’m always on the lookout for projects that leverage the strengths of digital platforms to impact behaviour and create an effect in the physical world – and justify a ‘wow’ in the process. While the ‘nut’ of what will drive the digital economy in the future may not be cracked, we’re seeing examples every day of executions that are paving the way.

In coming up with these cases, I looked at new and cool uses of technology, effective use of social media tools, forward-thinking partnerships and most importantly impact on the consumer/audience. While these examples don’t integrate a great deal of traditional media (if any) and don’t spend a lot of advertising dollars, they do show a great deal of innovation, while at the same time effectively using media and technology to drive consumer behaviour and community:

Chris Bosh’s multi-platform deal

Earlier this year, Warner Music Canada, iTunes Canada and the Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh collaborated on what will be a first-of-its-kind media partnership. Bosh will create original content based on characters from his CB4TV YouTube channel, and will star in an exclusive documentary made for DVD. The DVD will be packaged with a CD of music selected by Bosh and Warner from independent artists who have submitted tracks through Chris-Bosh.com, and released by Warner. Finally, iTunes Canada comes on board to sell not only the album, but to promote Bosh’s own iPhone app. Supposedly the first in the world for an athlete, Bosh’s app will feature not only stats and game highlights, but will also feature exclusive video from the star’s CB4TV brand. I was blown away by the uniqueness, but also the appropriateness of this cross-industry venture.

To date, the pre-launch venture has been promoted through Bosh’s website as well as his Facebook fan page and Twitter account (@ChrisBosh is one of the NBA’s most avid twitterers, as well). This struck me as the kind of partnership that paves the way for more creative media partnerships within more niche markets, and it put a big smile on my face to see it done first in Canada.

Pay it backwards for Sick Kids

DailyChallenge.org, ‘the social network for do-gooders,’ produced an amazing example of online media influencing real-world behaviour on April 4, when it successfully orchestrated Pay it Backward Day – an event that set a world record for something rather unique: kindness.

Partnering with the Second Cup location at Queen and John Streets in Toronto, the DailyChallengers, along with an army of volunteer twitterers, bloggers and Facebookers, executed an aggressive and effective social media campaign for five weeks leading up to the date (and on a $1 budget, the story goes). The social media buzz led to mentions in dozens of major media outlets and attracted partners large and small to the event that raised $750 for the Sick Kids Foundation. The premise was simple: Each person who lined up at Second Cup that afternoon bought the beverage for the person behind them. This happened 602 times, setting a world record and proving social media’s ability to drive action in real life.

The Second Cup corporate offices were so impressed that they matched the $750 donation to bring the total raised to $1500 in four hours of do-gooding. What’s more, Second Cup and their 180+ Ontario locations are now in talks with DailyChallenge.org to pull off a province-wide event later this year. Look for more info on a tweetdeck near you…

Zoompass collaboration and launch

Mobile can be such a fragmented platform on so many levels that it’s great for the industry any time larger players get on the same page. That’s why I’m excited about Zoompass – a mobile money and transfer payment system that is not only supported by every Canadian carrier, it was actually a joint venture between them! Rogers, Bell and Telus put their heads together and created Zoompass, a free download to your mobile that lets you quickly and easily send a couple bucks or a couple hundred to any of your friends with the app.

The product has been available about a month and has really only been promoted through WOM at social media, as it remains in Beta. The campaign uses a great deal of video (and has some fun with the use of the word ‘zoom’) at their core URL, as well as heavy use of Twitter and Facebook to help create both awareness of the product, but more importantly, education of its many possible uses in the minds of consumers. Currently on twitter, @Zoompass is running a daily contest to ‘zoom’ $10 to the twitterati who proposes the most creative/interesting use for said cash.

As mobile technology races forward, having a money transfer account tied directly to your mobile phone could be one of the most useful social applications imaginable, and could even eliminate the need to carry a wallet in the very near future. Although…then where would I put my receipts? Hmmm…